tv The Last Word MSNBC May 21, 2013 10:00pm-11:01pm PDT
before now, joplin actually was the reigning record holder for the most expensive tornado in history. today there are sad new estimates that moore, oklahoma may once again end up being the record holder in that sad category. the fire chief says it is his the fire chief says it is his goal to search everything three times before the window on finding more survivors closes. the mayor of oklahoma city told us live he doesn't expect to find any more victims alive in moore. the latest death toll by the medical examiner's office, at least 24 people were killed, 9 of them kids. lawrence o'donnell picks up live coverage. thank you for being with us. the sun has just set on the day after here in moore, oklahoma. some people who survived yesterday's tornado have returned to this street where all of the homes have been destroyed and they've been looking for something, anything that they can pick out of the rubble that was once their homes.
>> thank you for joining us on this day two of the tragedy in moore, oklahoma, coming to a close. >> this is the cover of the "oklahoman" this morning, worse than may 3rd. >> as a nation, our focus is on the rescue. >> we can confirm according to the medical examiner. >> the death toll has been corrected. >> 24 fatalities have been confirmed. >> 24, including 9 children. president obama declared the region a major disaster area. >> fema administrator craig fugate. >> fema director craig fugate is on his way to oklahoma. >> he is on his way to oklahoma as we speak. >> the devastation unlike anything people on the ground have ever seen. >> for 40 minutes, tore through block after block of homes and businesses. >> damage measured in miles. >> leveling everything in its path, including two schools and a hospital. >> we have a lot of tornadoes in oklahoma but we don't have tornadoes like this. >> our prayers are with the people of oklahoma today and we will back up those prayers with deeds for as long as it takes.
>> tonight, rescue workers here in moore, oklahoma, continue the work of searching for any signs of life from those who could still be trapped after yesterday's devastating tornado hit this community. we now know the tornado was an ef-5, the strongest type on the scale. winds as high as 210 miles per hour. officials have revised the number of fatal victims of the tornado down to 24 people, including a 3-month-old baby and eight other children, 237 people are listed as injured. here is a look at new video of the tornado just as the tornado was forming.
the path of the storm now officially stands at 17 miles long. it was on the ground for 40 minutes with a base of 1.3 miles at its widest point. as many as 20,000 families could be displaced. just a few hours ago, oklahoma's governor mary fallin took an aerial tour of the entire path. >> we started, took an aerial tour where it started to where it ended, flew over schools, neighborhoods, businesses hit so hard. it is amazing that anyone could survive that type of force and devastation with the tornado. i've seen a lot of disasters in the state of oklahoma, i think this is one of the very worst we've seen in our state's history. >> we're also seeing new video
kris, you got here 24 hours ago. >> yeah. >> take us through the news of today, especially involving the change in the number of fatalities. it was a much higher number 24 hours ago. >> it was. officials tried to correct it quickly. if you look behind you and see the devastation and multiply that by 17 miles, which is the length of this, as you said, a mile and a third long, you realize this looks like a war zone. it is actually being described as the fog of war, the chaos that often ensues after a disaster like this. there is so much effort put into finding people who may still be trapped, recovering those who may have died, that sometimes in that confusion, in the lists of people who are missing, things get misreported and that's what happened here. >> i saw that path from the air today, there's some stunning areas of precision where really a house that's just a few feet away is completely okay and then the house here is totally devastated and the house on the other side is completely okay,
it is remarkable in some areas how narrow the path became. >> just at the end of the block there's a medical center completely gone. you also see right next door to it where children were playing at the time, there was a daycare center, all of that has been ravaged, has to come down. across the street there's a movie theater, people got messages on the phone, saying bad weather coming, all went out into the hallway. >> they were in the theater. >> in the theater watching movies. everybody's phone started going off at the same time. then they came and evacuated them into the hallway. they heard it, it sounded terrible. but then it passed and they thought maybe it wasn't so bad and walked out and everything around them was gone, including some bowling lanes right across a parking lot. >> right across that parking lot from the movie theater is this hospital center which has been completely devastated. it is just across the street from where we're standing now. that's the kind of weird precision we're talking about. hospital totally wiped out, movie theater okay. just a parking lot separating
winds, those are winds can move a car the length of a football field. there were people not just coming to these houses today, people that parked at the medical center that worked there who were visiting patients there who came to see what happened to their cars, and they weren't there. they're somewhere but they couldn't find them. >> we will be joined by debbie gidry, one of the homeowners in the area. debbie, where was your house? >> my house is right there. >> right there. that was your house. >> it sure was. >> did you lose cars also? >> they're still in the garage, next door to each other. >> red one? >> red one and silver. >> looks like they might pull out of there. >> may be all right. a motorcycle is on top. >> two houses down, saw a teenager who refused to give up on his car that looked almost crushed. after an hour, he backed it out with no windshield. >> good for him. >> drove it away. >> you're smiling about this. is it that you feel that it call could have been worse? you're happy to be here? >> absolutely. you know, i mentioned to one of
live around here who have been through this kind of thing before? >> yes. we actually lived in our home 31 years. >> and has it been untouched by tornadoes in 31 years? >> all around us, this is the first time we took the hit. several of us moved in when we were young, we were growing old together, you know. it is our turn i guess. >> and because you have friends who have gone through it before in previous tornadoes losing their homes, have you been talking it through with them, have they told you here is the way it works, here is what happens next, here is what fema does, all of that stuff? >> i have gotten a lot of advice, texts. may 3rd, '99, my parents' home was involved, we have reference from that year, but lots of help. everybody has been real informative. it is just kind of now they call you and tell you what the next step is. >> where are you staying? >> my parents live in moore, we're with them. they don't have water or electricity, so we're camping out. >> i can't get over your good -- good cheer about this, and i'm kind of stunned by it. have you been through some grieving hours about the
losses -- >> well, a couple of times that i kind of looked at it and felt a total loss, but the most important thing is that my husband walked out and i walked out behind him, and that is what is important. >> how are you feeling about the task ahead? do you think you'll rebuild on this spot? >> we think we may. this is home. >> have you been able to talk to neighbors? >> we did. one neighbor, two neighbors were in the storm shelter with us. it is kind of an exciting story. we were in with the door locked and secured and we heard noise. it has a steel plate on the top of it. so even the smallest piece of hail sounds like it is a huge boulder. we thought we were hearing hail, it was the neighbor pulling on the door, trying to get in. so we unlatched the door, let him in. it wasn't probably two minutes until we heard the noise. >> chris jansing, you been on the street all day and is this the spirit that you have been encountering? >> it is remarkable.
we just saw a family almost all belongings left were in three wagons, and a little harley with a three-year-old on it, they found the three-year-old's dog. they were so elated by that, they said look, this is everything that matters to us. our family. and it is a little stunning to see. but you really get the sense that tornadoes are not a surprise to anybody here. >> not here. >> you hope to dodge a bullet, but if you don't, it seems like the community is coming together. i have seen it a dozen times today, lawrence. it is amazing. >> debbie, why aren't there more storm shelters here? >> well, you mean as far as individuals having them? >> for homes and for the community? >> i think because it happens quite often you can get lulled into a false sense of security. >> the last one you survived. >> yeah, it was fine. it was over there, you know, it will be fine. actually the storm shelter we have was within the house when we bought it, part of the home when we bought it. but several people on this
street have one. but there's a sense of it is not going to happen to me, or i get enough forewarning, i'm going to outrun it, i'll go someplace else. >> i have seen a bunch of them today, they're not cheap. >> no. >> that steel door you were talking about is very serious structure that you have to put in there. there could be a cost factor for a lot of people. >> there was in 1999 an incentive program they helped people that wanted to put in storm shelters, the mayor said earlier today when i talked to him, he thinks that saved a lot of lives. some people took advantage of that. he would like to see that happen again, this time give people an opportunity to defray some of the costs. >> debbie, what do you need now. what's the first thing you would like to have? >> i would like to have a shower. >> okay. after that, just talking to, you know, my insurance folks and finding out what their direction is and the next step. we'll go from there. >> debbie, i am so glad that you're out here and smiling about this.
>> thank you. >> and i think we all share your sense of priorities. getting out alive was what mattered. >> absolutely. >> debbie, thank you very much for talking with us. we will be back here in oklahoma. just amazing. i woke up with this horrible rash on my right side. an intense burning sensation like somebody had set it on fire. and the doctor said, cindie, you have shingles. he said, you had chickenpox when you were a little girl... i said, yes, i did. i don't think anybody ever thinks they're going to get shingles. but it happened to me. for more of the inside story, visit shinglesinfo.com [ agent smith ] i've found software that intrigues me.
magazine special edition. this gives a glimpse inside the national weather service forecast center which isn't far from here in norman, oklahoma at the university of oklahoma. according to "time" the warning that the center issued 16 minutes before the twister hit included the rarely used term "tornado emergency." that designation was created during the devastating may 3rd, 1999 storms that touched down in
chickasha, oklahoma. the point of the phrasing was to con vain this was something different from what anyone in the area was likely to have experienced before. more coming up from oklahoma. i'm tony siragusa and i've been around the toughest guys in football. and now i'm training guys who leak a little to guard their manhood. with man style protection... whoa... of new depend shields and guards. who are you? this is my house. perfect. come with me. built you a little man space under here. how 'bout that. sweet. see depend shields and guards are made to fit guys. that's awesome. i trained that guy now it's your turn.
go online for my tips to help guard your manhood. with new depend, shields and guards. as a nation, our full focus now is on the urgent work of rescue and the hard work of recovery and rebuilding that lies ahead. >> today, the moore, oklahoma fire chief provided this update on the search and rescue effort. >> we will be through every
damaged piece of property in this city at least three times before we're done, and we hope to be done by dark tonight. no survivor has been found recently in the past few hours. no sir. >> any found today? >> no, sir. >> joined by paramedic crew chief shawn lauderdale who aided the rescue effort. shawn, where were you when the tornado hit? >> i was actually in norman. i was in my office earlier in the day and saw the storm coming, went to my house to evacuate with my wife and child. >> where is your house from your office? >> i'm located about six blocks south of the briarwood elementary school. so it is about ten miles from my office. so i drove home, packed up my wife, my child, my pets, drove back to norman to clear the path of the storm. >> so then what did you do after that? >> after i was quite certain that the tornado had crossed
i-35, i returned to my house, put on my uniform, couldn't get anywhere -- >> was your house okay? >> had damage, minor damage, mostly roof, but put on my uniform, then i walked the six blocks to the school. >> then what was the scene at the school? >> it was pretty chaotic, a lot of parents, lot of responders, trying to figure out where i could fit in to help. >> how did you help? >> just helping coordinate getting people out of the school and then at some point caught a ride with another agency ambulance up to the warren theater to meet up with the crew. >> the scene at the school, you have parents who are arriving, were they allowed into the school? was there any restrictions on that? >> they weren't up in the rubble but were all around it obviously concerned, looking for their children. >> did you know some of the parents and families? >> i do. my children attended briarwood. >> were they saying hey, sean, asking you about names, is my kid in there?
>> wasn't necessarily that specific, but a lot of people looking to me asking if i knew where so and so was. >> and when you got there, you had no idea what the situation might be, how bad it might be in there. how long did it take you to establish what the damage was and how many kids were going to be injured in that? >> well, just right away i heard radio reports on the way there and just right away from seeing the devastation, i knew potential for a lot of injured people. >> and knowing that it is children that you're going into, is there a different mindset going into a scene where you're going to try to rescue children? >> it is not really a different mindset, just a job to be done. there's more emotional involvement because i have kids myself, just focusing on getting the job done. >> what are you telling your own kids tonight about their own safety? >> that, you know, i mean, as
parents, we work hard to keep them safe and just that they're fortunate. they're not, you know, a lot of other people out there not as fortunate tonight. >> when i see some of the kids that were in some of the worst situations talking about what they went through, i'm left wondering how kids here are going to feel safe going forward. what can you say to them? this is such a random kind of event. you never know where it is going to hit. hard to prepare for. >> i agree. i think it is going to be individual for each child in how they're going to be able to cope. >> sean lauderdale, thank you for joining us and for what you're doing in town. really appreciate it. we will be back after this. i don't like to golf. i love to golf. ♪ [ grunts ]
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we are back live in moore, oklahoma. i am joined by nick and shannon. they were both on duty at the hospital here in moore and had to help move patients to safety as the tornado approached. shannon, i imagine it was a lot of feelings of helplessness when a tornado is approaching. who could feel more helpless than patients in hospital beds that can't do anything for themselves. what did you have to do? >> you know, that was our job that day was to make sure the patients felt safe and the staff felt safe, so we were confident
in what we were doing. we knew we needed to take care of them to protect them and ourselves, and we just did what we needed to do. >> nick, did the patients know how serious the threat was as it was approaching? >> i have a feeling most patients knew it was serious. we try to be careful, not scare anybody, let them know it is a serious situation, need to get everybody safe. you know, everybody was calm, patients, community members showed up to seek shelter were calm, we were able to move everybody quickly and efficiently. >> so the hospital was shelter for people in the area that decided that would be the place they wanted to be? >> yes. we had a lot of community members show up at the hospital seeking shelter minutes before the tornado hit and we had folks posted in different positions by entrances, kind of funneling them toward the safe areas of the hospital. >> what are the safe areas.
where did you move the patients to? >> my patients were initially on second floor, and what we normally do in that situation is move them to the hallway and close the windows and doors away from windows and doors. we knew that we were probably going to get hit. we made the decision to move them downstairs into an interior part of the building in the emergency department where nick's patients were. >> what about patients that need the most treatment, patients who are in intensive care. what do you do with them? >> what we basically do, try to do, make sure we knew which were the most serious, kept track of patients in the hospital at the time, then when it is time to evacuate, arrange in an order to be transported out first. within getting patients out of the building, across to the warren theater, and making sure everybody was safe, i believe the first patient left probably within three to four minutes, us getting out of the building to the warren theater. >> how many patients did you have to evacuate? >> there were 30 patients in the
building at the time, 9 were shannon's patients. had four more ob patients, labor and delivery, and also had four ed patients and outpatients getting lab tests and other types of things. >> patients and personnel, were they all out by the time the tornado hit? >> we did a really great job of identifying a quick exit. we had enough personnel to help move patients out. we had some obstacles getting out of the building, but we were able to make it out and across the street, and we got everybody out safely. >> they would not have survived if you hadn't gotten them out of there, looks like a total disaster area. >> yeah, we moved everybody that was in the building was in the center most part of the building. we saw surprisingly few injuries. nicks, bruises, scrapes and a few cuts here and there, but everybody inside of the building
and we were thinking that there were 250 to 300 people in the building at the time, and everybody was safe, safe as possibly as they could be. >> nick, shannon, thank you for joining me. thank you for the work yesterday saving lives. really appreciate it. >> thank you. >> joining me by phone, the mayor of moore, glenn lewis. mr. mayor, thank you very much for joining us again tonight. >> thank you, appreciate you guys getting our story out. >> and mr. mayor, what does moore need most now? >> right now we actually need people to get out of the way. we've got so many people coming from out of town to look at it that they're hampering our recovery efforts at this point. >> and in terms of help from the state or federal assistance, are you getting everything you need? >> absolutely. i got a call from president obama, he's offered all the resources that we can use, anything we need basically is what he told us.
the fema director himself came into the city this morning, bright and early. they have over 200 boots on the ground now. the governor has been here the whole time, she just went home. she was here last night. i mean, she has been phenomenal to work with. everyone tried to help their best. when you see this disaster it is immense. we just appreciate all of the help. >> i just had a conversation with the governor here in this location before the show, and i asked when she might get some sleep, and she seems to have no idea. mr. mayor, i'm wondering about the opportunity for this community to seek shell shelter in a situation like this when they feel they are not going to be safe enough in their homes. has moore as a community figured plans for that before situations like this?
>> well actually most of the people have safe rooms. a lot of the older areas do not have safe rooms. all the new houses, they basically, every one of them has a new safe room in it, so it is just the older part of town, a lot of which was hit. most people either have a safe room or storm shelter. we were very fortunate. we had 12 minutes of warning on this. a lot of people took ground. our city is about 50,000 population, and we had unfortunately 19 deaths with this and the oklahoma city area had five, so we are doing about as good as we can right now. >> mayor lewis, can you take us through what happened today on what turned out to be the very good news that there were many fewer lives lost in this tornado than we thought 24 hours ago. how did that news unfold for you? >> i was actually walking through the neighborhood over
there i believe with the governor when the news first came to us from the medical examiner's office from the state. it was quite surprising because we had been told all the time it was 51. and we're not sure where that number came from. the official report was 19, 24 total, but we were fortunate. still at the same time that's a lot of people that were killed in this tornado. >> it really is a horrible loss. mayor glenn lewis, thank you very much for joining us tonight. >> thank you, sir, appreciate it. bye-bye. coming up, one estimate says as many as 20,000 families may be displaced by yesterday's tornado. how this community is dealing with that part of the tragedy next. vo: traveling you definitely end up meeting a lot more people but
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on getting ourselves back on our feet as a community. but it is going to be a long time coming. >> that was former oklahoma governor frank keating, talking to msnbc's andrea mitchell, talking about the humanitarian crisis this deadly tornado has left in its wake, up to 20,000 families with nowhere to live. the red cross has opened four different shelters in the area, and university of oklahoma has opened up student housing in norman for those who have been displaced. churches are also running their own emergency shelters, more than 170 members of the oklahoma national guard are here tonight helping police, fire cruise and rescue workers with the massive recovery effort. i am joined now by msnbc's thomas roberts who has been on the ground here in moore all day. thomas, the red cross effort here has really geared up quickly. >> it really has geared up quickly.
as you brought out top of the show how people turned out today, trying to pick through their homes, to find anything they could take away for so many that lost so much, american red cross has been here, they set up quickly as you pointed out, four different shelters. i spoke to somebody before coming on that said they don't have exact figures of how many people they've seen come to their doors, but they're not hurting for those that are displaced and already served thousands of meals and have dozens more convoys on the way to the area. it has been interesting, though, to see the resiliency of the community. great guests tonight living on this street. >> amazing. >> we bumped into toby keith, hometown boy, hometown hero, sister lives around the corner, talked about why the community is important to him and also about the resiliency we have seen here. >> you've got to be in utter shock to see your hometown look like this. >> well, sad, happens here quite a bit. every four, five years you get to see something like this. this was on the ground a long time like the one in '99.
in between there, same places '99, got hit two, three more times, smaller version. they're resilient, bounce back. neighborhoods help neighborhoods, they come together. it is amazing. part of the reason i live here. i love the spirit of this place. >> thomas, the smiles that you get here and the good cheer, i wonder at a certain level how much is shock. there's something about these people know that this is possible here and in psychological terms they seem to be ready for it. >> as we've seen in the context of looking back at the storm of 1999 and knowing the damage that storm created for this area then, here we are fast forward to today, almost identical storms, almost identical storm paths, the amount of damage we see today is pretty much the same as they lived through before. this community will come back. tomorrow as we were watching
today, this is kind of a soaking in process of the devastation. tomorrow is going to be definitely more about the rebuild but also about the mourning because we have the 24 confirmed deaths, nine of which were children, so the community is still going to be in mourning moving forward. we at the other location had a family living there, they said they want to rebuild, want to come back. homeowners there for 12 years, love their street, love this neighborhood. you know what, i bet they'll be back. >> the story they told about saving their children in that bathtub was amazing, where they put the sofa cushions on top of their kids in the bathtub, mother and father then put their weight holding down the cushions. after the tornado was over, they just stood up and discovered there was no house around them. >> it is absolutely amazing. they have three little girls, a
6-year-old and two 4-year-old twins. amber and nathan are their names. they said the twins saved their blankets, but wanted to come back to find something for their six-year-old. the six-year-old goes to plaza towers elementary but was out by 11:30 because she at the ends early morning kindergarten. >> i was helping their mom search the rubble. i found two very beat up digital cameras. i was able to get them open and the discs were still in there, pull out both discs and give them to her. see what pictures she gets. >> that's fantastic. people are looking for things, trying to find what we could possibly find. she seemed a little -- she was very alert, present, but also a little dazed, looking at this, thinking where do i even turn. >> well, the house to her, she explained, this was the living room, this was the kitchen. you look at it, it is a slab.
hard to make anything out except for the bathtub, and that saved their lives. >> in the middle of it all, saved everybody. thomas roberts, thanks for being here and thanks for joining me tonight. our coverage here in moore will continue. copd makes it hard to breathe... but with advair, i'm breathing better. so now i can help make this a great block party. ♪ [ male announcer ] advair is clinically proven to help significantly improve lung function. unlike most copd medications,
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jimmy how happy are folks who save hundreds of dollars switching to geico? happier than dracula volunteering at a blood drive. we have cookies... get happy. get geico. fifteen minutes could save you fifteen percent or more. the red cross is now taking your donations online by phone calls and text messages to help with relief efforts in oklahoma. i am joined by vicki with the american red cross. what do you need most now? >> right now we need people to reconnect with one another, to let everyone know they're safe and well, reestablish the family ties. it is so important in a disaster like this. stay close to one another. stay connected. and if people would like to make a donation to help with disaster relief effort, we would encourage them to call us at
1-800-red cross or to make a text donation or to visit us online. >> vicki, i have seen the red cross presence here. it's really impressive that it geared up so quickly. thank you very much for being here, thanks for what you're doing. >> thanks, it is our privilege. >> really appreciate it. we will be back with more from moore, oklahoma. this. she got a parking ticket... ♪ and she forgot to pay her credit card bill on time. good thing she's got the citi simplicity card. it doesn't charge late fees or a penalty rate. ever. as in never ever. now about that parking ticket. [ grunting ] [ male announcer ] the citi simplicity card is the only card that never has late fees, a penalty rate, or an annual fee, ever. go to citi.com/simplicity to apply. [ agent smith ] i've found software that intrigues me. it appears it's an agent of good.
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seven children were killed inside plaza towers elementary school here. nbc news kate snow has more on what happened inside that school as the tornado hit. >> reporter: inside the walls of the plaza towers elementary school, 500 students were counting down the days in the final week of class. in a matter of minutes, the campus went from looking like this to this. classrooms completely obliterated, an auditorium caved in. parents of other students tell nbc news children were in the auditorium. >> seen it from the air. this is it behind me, as i step out of the way, let joe zoom in. this is the front of plaza towers elementary school. this school is basically gone. >> reporter: in the hours after the tornado, dramatic images, young children were rescued, and with darkness, the search for survivors continued. some children had escaped harm, their parents picked them up before the school went on lockdown monday. the majority stayed inside as they practiced in drills many times.
math teacher rhonda crossway was helping sixth graders with an end of school game when the principal came over the loudspeaker, told them to go to the hallway. damien klein is a fourth grader. >> she told us all to get a math book or your bag. i already had my bag. then we went in the hall. >> why did she tell you to get a math book or bag. >> we could put it over our head. >> reporter: a fifth grade teacher saw the funnel cloud approaching, yelled for everyone to leave and get into bathrooms or closets. >> you have to get them in there. he was like you're getting in there, too. >> reporter: she was in a bathroom stall crouched over four children and did what teachers do. >> i remember a little boy saying i love you, don't let me die. i said we're not dying today. do not say that. and i did the teacher thing that
we are not supposed to do, but i prayed and prayed aloud. >> what did you say? >> i said please don't take these kids today. >> reporter: the walls still stood. when it was quiet, she sent a small boy to climb up, look out. >> he got up there, looked out, said there's nothing left. >> reporter: damien in the same bathroom crouched under a sink. >> how loud was it? >> pretty loud. >> reporter: were you scared? >> uh-huh. there was a bunch of people screaming. we could hear them from the girl's restroom. >> reporter: his mom spent an anxious hour wondering if her little boy was still alive. now wonders why the school didn't have a better shelter plan. >> i think every school in oklahoma should have an underground shelter. it shouldn't take a tornado this size and this many kids hurt, missing, lost their lives to realize they need underground shelters. >> that was nbc news kate snow reporting. coming up, what happened at
there's the school. i am not sure the exact name of it, but that's going to be south of 4th, east of santa fe. whatever school that is, it is going to be -- it is like you see, completely destroyed as kids run up to hopefully their loved ones. >> and here is more video of briarwood elementary school just moments after the tornado hit. >> she's out? >> justin, are you okay?
>> she is over there. >> where is she? >> she is over there. >> oh, my god. >> ms. moser has her? she's out? she's out? >> okay. i know. go stand by the fence. come with me. >> i love you. >> joining me now, the man that recorded that video and took many of the defining photographs from the past 24 hours, a photographer for the "oklahoman." paul, when did you first head out to the school? >> yes, it started about 30 minutes before i sat down listening to the weather reports
on the radio. >> were you anticipating catching it hit and you wanted to catch it with cameras? >> i was hoping so. what i tried to do is get south of the line from what they were talking that it might pass to get a better shot at it looking north. and to stay out of the way of it. >> take us into the emotion of that parking lot. i've never seen anything like what you just showed us on your recorded video. there's a kind of hysteria the there. people just so tense and about what they might or might not find there. >> right. the situation, there's something happening every direction. as a photographer, don't know which direction you can point the camera. all of the children crying, teachers doing their best to calm them down. but they have been through the most horrendous event of their
life obviously. most of them missing their parents, wanting to know that everything is okay and just takes a long time to get them calmed down after what they have been through. >> this was the school where everything was okay. you watched parents arrive there in a panic and at some point find that child that they were looking for and you saw those hugs. >> yeah, i sure did, yes, quite a number of different cases saw where the parents ran up to the children and made that reunion. saw one woman almost 20 minutes frantically looking for her child, at the end she had her little girl with her, so everything worked out well. >> were there any moments there where it felt like this was going to end very badly for some
of the people? did you have that feeling in your gut? >> i really did, once they started -- i thought they had all the children out, then saw they opened up another area of the school, started pulling more out. and a few minutes later, rescue workers arrived, started digging through a heavily damaged wall and ceiling and i was hoping that there weren't any children underneath there, and fortunately, there weren't. >> thank you for sharing your work with us and thanks for being with us tonight. >> thank you. i appreciate it. >> i am joined for final thoughts with chris jansing and thomas roberts. chris, you seen much more of this than i certainly have, and you have been in many of the di sas ter areas, and what is this experience, and how does it compare to the other things that you have witnessed? >> well, i was thinking as i was looking at the amazing video of
the hugs and the reunion and what will be iconic still pictures of something that binds tragedies together is a distillation of what is important. there is a perspective gained in tragedy and death and the meaning of life and how we value it and how our family and friends mean to us, and how much stuff doesn't mean when there are little children who are crushed under the weight of the school. so resiliency is a word that you have used a lot in the hour and we have seen it throughout, and that part of the american spirit and that coming together of communities is what gives us hope and keeps us moving forward and makes what might be an unbearable tragedy somehow able to be borne. >> how are your thoughts on the second day of what's happened? >> you talked to paul to close out the show. we began with paul's images this morning. this was the cover of the "oklahoman." it is small. says worse than may 3rd.
shows that image of the woman carrying a little girl, man carrying the other student out with bloodied faces and it is amazing to think they lived through that. again, this is briarwood, where the national weather service went to evaluate the damage so they can now categorize it as an ef-5. it is full circle on what it means and to the front page of the "oklahoman" and i will be interested to see what images paul has for tomorrow's paper. >> chris jansing, where does the community go from here? >> there was a memorial service tonight, certainly others. they will be moving forward. there will be small children that will be buried, including that baby you mentioned at the beginning. there will be a rebuilding and commitment to the community. as we have seen so many times before, there will be a sense of a new start for a lot of people who want to stay here and remain neighbors. so there's always that push and pull when we come to scenes like this about how horrible it is,
what happened, but the possibilities of what lie ahead, and it sounds like a hallmark card in some case, but over the year, it is really true. >> and that is the last word from moore, oklahoma tonight.mo. thanks if are joining me. oh, my god! . >> tonight an nbc news special. the history making tornado in moore, oklahoma. >> our correspondents join families returning to neighborhoods where it's hard to find home. >> not sure where we go from here. >>. >> people risked everything to find their loved ones and help strangers. >> it felt good to help those people. >> look at the school. >> we will go to the school smashed beyond recognition where teachers went into action. >> please don't take these kids today. >> parents face heart breaking questions as in what if more could have been done.